The ND Paper mill in Rumford is one of the state’s newest sites of a coronavirus outbreak after four cases of COVID-19 were reported there.
State health inspectors will look into whether the mill was the primary place where the virus spread, or whether other sites are involved in the outbreak, said Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Maine CDC is working with mill management and Rumford Hospital to arrange testing for all 600 employees, Shah said.
The outbreak at the Oxford County mill is another sign the virus is circulating in areas that previously didn’t see much spread of the virus earlier in the pandemic. Some Oxford County schools have reported positive COVID-19 tests in recent days, and the county has seen its rate of new cases increase over the past few weeks. The county’s rate of positive tests has also been higher than the rest of the state’s over the past two weeks, according to Maine CDC data.
The spread of the virus in areas that hadn’t previously seen many cases, Shah said, “provides further evidence that the virus is here, and by here, I mean everywhere.”